The Doctrine of Positional And Practical Sanctification

Let us “renew our minds” to the fact that, we are no longer in offensive Adam! Justification (righteousness) has replaced our condemnation, sanctification (holiness) has replaced our abomination, & exaltation (our citizenship in the heavenly places) has replaced our alienation. Therefore, according to the word, rightly divided, we are no longer in, scandalous Adam, you are now baptized (identified) into JC: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?” I thank God for JC!” Rom. 7:24-25:

1. The moment a Person puts his/her trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, he is sanctified. The cross  is the means of cleansing and purifying the believer from his sins and by it he is sanctified (1 Cor. 1:2) . Notice Hebrews 10:10 says: “we are sanctified through the offering by the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Believers are cleansed from their sins and have been set apart unto God. We are His now! This is called: “Positional Sanctification”: We Stand “In Christ”, Complete!  Because the believer belongs to God now, God instructs the believer to live a life of separation. We are to live a pure life because we are saved. Not to get saved! This is called: “Practical Sanctification”: The state or condition of my walk as a believer.

2. Yes, we are now “in Christ”, we belong to the family of God, we are called to be Saints (1 Cor.1:2. God is our Father (2 Cor.1:3), we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:17), we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11), we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), and we possess God’s identity, “in Christ (1 Cor.1:30). What does all this mean? Paul tells us next, we are to “put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). in other words walk, live, conduct yourself like you know you are in Christ. Which brings us to the Corinthians. Were the Corinthians really saved? Answer: Yes, they were! So, if they were saved, what was their main problem? They did not I understand their sanctification process!!  Sanctification refers to both our Positional (position) in Christ and to our Practical, conduct). *The Corinthians positional sanctification was secure, but their practical sanctification was non existent!

3. These Corinthians, like some believers today, were positioned “in Christ” but did not understand they’re practical everyday walk. How to think, live, and serve God, now that they have Christ in them. They were carnal, spiritually useless to God. They were just like fleshy unbelievers, They were dead (functionally dead) to the things of God. We as believers should think like the believers we are, not like the lost that we are not! We are not who we were!  God’s life is in US! We have  God’s identity (DNA) now, His divine nature is in us.  We should think like God. The Corinthians were seeking to be popular with the world, they cared only about the wisdom of men, and the fashion of this world. They were living contrary to who they were in Christ Jesus, they did not understand Romans chapters 6 through 8,  Our sanctification doctrine! This is a big problem with many believers in the BOC today. They are saved, but ignorant of what God is doing & how to live a life of value that honors their ID in Christ.

4. Paul corrected these Corinthian Saints by reminding them, who they were ‘in Christ.” But because of their carnality, their spiritual edification was still on the level of “babes in Christ” (1 Cor.3:1-3),  desiring the sincere milk of the word, Paul could not and would not teach them the meat doctrine of their glorious exaltation position in Christ! Why? Because it was part of the “Revelation of the mystery.” This was MEAT (superstructure doctrine. Paul would not feed meat to babes, they would only choke, babes cannot digest, comprehend meat! Now this is an important lesson for us as


believers to remember when dealing with “weaker brethren” in the faith (Rom.14:1).  We don’t want to violate God’s divine design of                                                                                                                                                                       

edification.  As we go from milk doctrine: Romans – Galatians; (justification & sanctification) to meat doctrine: Ephesians to Philemon (Exaltation), let us prayerfully evaluate “the measure of faith that God has dealt to every soul” Rom. 12:3. By God’s own design, we will always have the weaker brother in faith among us!                                                                                                                                                             

 And finally, Paul, the master builder of sanctification, who laid the foundation of the body of                                      

Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, warns all ministers and servants to “take heed (be careful) how you build”. We are to make sure that OUR “practical sanctification” (OUR walk) has something of value, lasting quality that will stand the test of fire like gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:12) at the judgment seat of Christ (Rom.14:10).  OUR practical sanctification, state, the condition of OUR walk will be under review. (1 Cor. 3:10)

Just like an athlete, Paul wisely is careful to not do anything he tells other believers not to do. He says in 1 Cor.9:27 “lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”  “A Castaway” meaning, “unapproved.” Paul did not want to lose his reward for faithful service. AS we teach the word of God this year, equipping others to be strong in sound doctrine, let us keep in mind practical sanctification (OUR walk, OUR life) is on display.  Let us remember the words of Paul referring to his practical sanctification: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim. 2:2).

*Our Identity In-Christ, Practical Sanctification Is On Display!


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